SIA fights security funding cuts

The Security Industry Association, an organization representing the interests of security product manufacturers, resellers and integrators, said today that the organization had publicly stated its disappointment with efforts in the House Appropriations Committee's Homeland Security Subcommittee to limit spending in the Port Security Grant Program and the Transit Security Grant Program. The legislation before that subcommittee would limit spending in those grants programs to $250 million each in 2010. Those numbers are below the 2009 levels.

"We are very disappointed by the subcommittee's action," stated SIA Director of Government Relations Don Erickson in a statement released publicly. "Many ports and transit systems remain far too vulnerable to criminal activity and terrorist attack, which is why we're baffled by the cuts in funding. Federal grants are a crucial source of revenue for facilities looking to enhance their physical security, and if the appropriations bill passes as written, a lot of projects intended to protect the lives and property of millions of Americans will be left unfunded."

SIA said it will lobby the full Appropriations Committee to have the legislation provide more funding and to have the program remove a requirement that local officials match the grants. SIA said that the full committee will likely mark up the bill this Friday.